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Retse, mom, and the kids come to Boston
(Click on the images for a larger version.)
ellie and gray on couch
I still looks strange to me to see a picture of Ellie and Gray on our couch. That spot is where I watch movies, where I hear fire trucks whine down the street, and where Harley Davidson owners impress me and my neighbors by revving their engines. Ellie and Gray got to experience all these things with us for a few days this summer.
ellie gray on futon
It was pretty tight in our apartment. Retse and mom got the futon. Ellie slept on a mattress on the floor (most of the time she made Retse sleep there too). Gray slept in the kitchen in a playpen our neighbor let us borrow (thanks Rita!). Ilaria and I slept in our bedroom.

This explanation makes the space sound partitioned, but in our small apartment this was more of a continuous system. One side of Ellie's mattress was under mom and Retse's futon. The other side almost bumped up against a chair that bumped up against Gray's playpen, which was only 3 ft or so from the door to our room. So when Ellie woke up in the middle of the night screaming her lungs out (as she tends do), we all got to participate in the experience.
ellie gray ducklings
When my mom and dad came to visit me in Boston two years ago, I couldn't find the make way for ducklings sculptures. I have since practiced finding them many times (with Ilaria who is a better navigator). The practice paid off - even though Ilaria was at work, we made our way to the ducklings just fine.
swan ride 1
Retse, Ellie, Gray, and my mom went for a swan ride in the park.
swan ride 2
I stayed on land to photograph
swan ride 3
their great adventure
swan ride 4
around the pond,
swan ride 5
then towards a bridge,
swan ride 6
then under the bridge,
swan ride 7
then around a little island,
Js shadow
then I got tired of watching the slow moving swan boat. I began
Js shadow 2
playing with my shadow,
swan ride 8
as the boat went around the island,
swan ride 9
passed by me,
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and finished up on the other side of the bridge.
gray ellie public garden
Gray didn't much enjoy all of this superficial touristy nonsense.
gray public garden 1
He was much happier with the simple pleasures found in vigorously shaking a half-full water bottle and playing with blades of grass in the Public Gardens.
gray studies spit
He also dabbled in the physics of fluids and Chaos Theory as he analyzed the viscosity and flow of slobber down his shirt.
ellie stroller
Ellie was just happy she finally got to sit in Gray's stroller.
gray clean
All clean.

The next day Ilaria and I had to go to work for a meeting. Our visitors went to the Aquarium. Ellie what was your favorite part of the ($10) museum? "choclate milk". Ok, maybe next time, we'll just give you a dollar and take you to the 7-eleven.
J tired
These kids were wearing me out.
J tired 2
But we've got to get going, it's time to go to the Children's Museum.
ellie subway
The weather was not being friendly. We went down to one stroller and I carried Ellie to the station to try and speed things up.
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ellie subway 2
Ellie liked all the action on the subway.
gray subway
Gray was perhaps too little to understand what was going on,
family subway
but he still liked to look around at everybody.
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It was nice when we could watch the bad weather from inside the dry museum.
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We started in the littlest people section, where gray was very content.
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Ellie found
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and became attached to
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an anatomically correct naked baby doll.
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Ellie drove Gray around, cause Gray was a little young to be driving a car.
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Ellie did a good job.
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But she was very wary of other people that might want a turn in her car.
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Uncle J once again, just hung out in the shadows.
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Maybe next time we should skip the water section.
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Although Ellie and Gray both liked it,
gray chess
they both spent
gray chess 2
the rest of the day wet.
ellie gray chess
I don't think they really minded too much.
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As always, I went off on my own in the music session.
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I'm afraid these PVC xylophones are getting worn out. They just don't play was well as the last time I played them, when Ellie came 2 years ago.
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Ellie modeled her dress-up clothes for me.
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Gray's favorite part was the tunnel that
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was his sister's favorite part last time.
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The next day it was time for our guests to go :(...

But I'll leave you with a series of Ellie's photography.
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As you can see, her height lends an interesting perspective to her shots.
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And it's really nice to see her brother almost like she does.
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Even if sometimes she tries to highlight that he's littler than her.
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She always brings out natural smile in adults who think it's cute to see her working a camera.
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For a little kid, she does an outstanding job with a camera.

Goodbye, Gray, Mom, Retse, and the little photographer. Come back to visit whenever you like.